How do you Handle Phobias, or other Irrational Fears?

  1. Gordon Hamilton profile image97
    Gordon Hamiltonposted 7 years ago

    How do you Handle Phobias, or other Irrational Fears?

    I have no choice but to freely admit it, given that I am asking this question: I am absolutely terrified of cats. Seriously! I can't cope with a cat coming anywhere near me - I have a major panic attack. I love dogs (particularly German Shepherds) and have nothing against cats, other than the fact that for some reason I am naturally terrified of them.

    If I go to a house where there is a cat, I have to respectfully request it be removed - otherwise, I would leave. It really is that bad. Any tips?

  2. profile image0
    Arlene V. Pomaposted 7 years ago

    I got thrown off a greenbroke horse when I was 15.  No one told me it had not been ridden all that much.  I got thrown high in the air and almost landed on a stack of cement pipes.  If I didn't stay on as long as I did, I would have hit those pipes and died.  I got back on that horse and made it do what I wanted it to do.  You have to face your fears head on.  Otherwise, you'll walk away wondering if you will ever master this fear.  If you wait too long, you'll always have the fear of that crocodile in the room.

    I was afraid of jumping off the high dive and into 25 feet of water, but I jumped, anyway.  Got it over with.

    I am afraid of speed, but I went water skiing, anyway.  I must have been up for 2 seconds, but I made myself do it.   

    Could you have been traumatized by Kitty in the past?  Or maybe you are a dog person all the way.  I don't do well with cats because if they don't like you, they leave.  I am a dog and horse person.  They are my totems. 

    But I do know people who are afraid of dogs, too.  But you have to respect that.  I won't have my dogs around people who are afraid of dogs.

    At least you say something to the cat owner.

  3. lambservant profile image92
    lambservantposted 7 years ago

    I took a 9 week course on anxiety at a mental health clinic I went to. There were several people there with phobias of various kinds. At one point we talked about doing exposures. For instance, if you had a fear of driving, you would maybe go your car and open the door and stand there until the anxiety stops. Next time you might sit in the car with the door, then another day sit in the car with the door closed, then run the engine, then back to the end of the driveway, etc. You take it in baby steps. The point is whatever step you are in, you stay where you are until the anxiety passes.

    There were two women in my class who had phobias of going out into public (agorophobia). One woman's phobia was so severe that stepping out on her deck to water her plants was a huge stressor. How she got to the classes everyweek we never could figure out. She said one time that it took her 4 or 5 days to psychologically prepare to go to the class.

    anyway, these two women decdided to pair up and do their exposures together. Their first exposure was going to the grocery store together. That was a big phobia. They each purchased one small item and went through the checkout line. They both said the checkstand was always the hardest part.

    Eventually they went all over the place together very comfortably. We all used to meet at crispy cremes and talk for a few hours. At the same time, they eventually were able to handle things while alone. It was quite remarkable.


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